Second Maccabees Chapters
1 And Maccabaeus and those who were with him, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city;
2 and they pulled down the altars that had been built in the marketplace by the aliens, and also the walls of sacred inclosures.
3 And having cleansed the sanctuary they made another altar of sacrifice; and striking stones and taking fire out of them, they offered sacrifices, after they had ceased for two years, and burnt incense, and lighted lamps, and set forth the show bread.
4 And when they had done these things, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might fall no more into such evils; but that, if ever they should sin, they might be chastened by him with forbearance, and not be delivered to blaspheming and barbarous heathen.
5 Now on the same day that the sanctuary was profaned by aliens, upon that very day did it come to pass that the cleansing of the sanctuary was made, even on the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Chislev.
6 And they kept eight days with gladness in the manner of the feast of tabernacles, remembering how that not long before, during the feast of tabernacles, they were wandering in the mountains and in the caves after the manner of wild beasts.
7 Wherefore bearing wands wreathed with leaves, and fair boughs, and palms also, they offered up hymns of thanksgiving to him that had prosperously brought to pass the cleansing of his own place.
8 They ordained also with a common statute and decree, for all the nation of the Jews, that they should keep these days every year.
9 And such was the end of Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.
10 But now will we declare what came to pass under Antiochus named Eupator, who proved himself a true son of that ungodly man, and will gather up briefly the successive evils of the wars.
11 For this man, when he succeeded to the kingdom, appointed one Lysias to be chancellor, and supreme governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia.
12 For Ptolemy that was called Macron, setting an example of observing justice towards the Jews because of the wrong that had been done to them, endeavored to conduct his dealings with them on peaceful terms.
13 Whereupon being accused by the king’s Friends before Eupator, and hearing himself called traitor at every turn, because he had abandoned Cyprus which Philometor had entrusted to him, and had withdrawn himself to Antiochus called Epiphanes, and failing to uphold the honour of his office, he took poison and made away with himself.
14 But Gorgias, when he was made governor of the district, maintained a force of mercenaries, and at every turn kept up war with the Jews.
15 And together with him the Idumaeans also, being masters of important strongholds, harassed the Jews; and receiving to them those that had taken refuge there from Jerusalem, they assayed to keep up war.
16 But Maccabaeus and his men, having made solemn supplication and implored God to fight on their side, rushed upon the strongholds of the Idumaeans;
17 and assaulting them vigorously they made themselves masters of the positions, and kept off all that fought upon the wall, and killed those that fell in their way, and killed no fewer than twenty thousand.
18 And because no less than nine thousand were fled into two towers exceedingly strong and having all things needed for a seige,
19 Maccabaeus, having left Simon and Joseph, and Zacchaeus besides and those who were with him, a force sufficient to besiege them, departed himself to places where he was most needed.
20 But Simon and those who were with him, yielding to covetousness, were bribed by certain of those that were in the towers, and receiving seventy thousand drachmas let some of them slip away.
21 But when word was brought to Maccabaeus of what was done, he gathered the leaders of the people together, and accused those men of having sold their kindred for money, by setting their enemies free to fight against them.
22 So he killed these men for having turned traitors, and forthwith took possession of the two towers.
23 And prospering with his arms in all things he took in hand, he destroyed in the two strongholds more than twenty thousand.
24 Now Timotheus, who had been before defeated by the Jews, having gathered together foreign forces in great multitudes, and having collected the horsemen which belonged to Asia, not a few, came as though he would take Judea by force of arms.
25 But as he drew near, Maccabaeus and his men sprinkled earth upon their heads and girded their loins with sackcloth, in supplication to God,
26 and falling down upon the step in front of the altar, implored him to become gracious to them, and be an enemy to their enemies and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law declares.
27 And rising from their prayer they took up their arms, and advanced some distance from the city; and when they had come near to their enemies they halted.
28 And when the dawn was now spreading, the two armies joined battle; the one part having this, beside their virtue, for a pledge of success and victory, that they had fled to the Lord for refuge, the others making their passion their leader in the strife.
29 But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared out of heaven to their adversaries five men on horses with bridles of gold, in splendid array; and two of them, leading on the Jews,
30 and taking Maccabaeus in the midst of them, and covering him with their own armour, guarded him from wounds, while on the adversaries they shot forth arrows and thunderbolts; by reason whereof they were blinded and thrown into confusion, and were cut to pieces, filled with bewilderment.
31 And there were slain twenty thousand and five hundred, beside six hundred horsemen.
32 But Timotheus himself fled into a stronghold called Gazara, a fortress of exceedingly strength, Chaereas being in command there.
33 But Maccabaeus and his men were glad and laid siege to the fortress four and twenty days.
34 And those who were within, trusting to the strength of the place, blasphemed exceedingly, and hurled forth impious words.
35 But at dawn of the five and twentieth day certain young men of the company of Maccabaeus, inflamed with passion because of the blasphemies, assaulted the wall with masculine force and with furious passion, and cut down whoever came in their way.
36 And others climbing up in like manner, while the besieged were distracted with them that had made their way within, set fire to the towers, and kindling fires burnt the blasphemers alive; while others broke open the gates, and, having given entrance to the rest of the band, occupied the city.
37 And they killed Timotheus, who was hidden in a cistern, and his brother Chaereas, and Apollophanes.
38 And when they had accomplished these things, they blessed the Lord with hymns and thanksgiving, him who does great benefits to Israel, and gives them the victory.
First Maccabees First Esdras Prayer of Manasses
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